Using an external CD player with a Bose Wave Radio, Decortech table with built-in speaker(Week 9, 2022) – Don Lindich’s Sound Advice
March 5, 2022
Bose, CD players, Furniture, Newspaper columns
By Don Lindich
Week 9, 2022
Q. We are having an issue with our Bose Wave Radio/CD system. It has an add-on that provides an additional 3 CD capability. The slot in the radio itself is playing the CD properly, but the 3 CD add-on unit has begun to make spinning, sputtering, skipping noises. After a period of time it seems the CD begins to play normally.
In checking around it appears these players are no longer on the market and repair seems non existent. I would like to know if you have any knowledge or suggestions regarding repair or can suggest an alternative player for purchase. I know eventually the CD players will be a thing of the past but since we are 75 and 80 respectively, we still enjoy our CD’s and at this time are resistant to change.
-N.L., Grove City, PA
A. You are correct that repairs on this radio are difficult, if not impossible to find. Fortunately the single disc slot is still working, but even when that CD drive stops working properly you have an option. Get a DVD player with analog outputs (The Panasonic DVD-700 is a very good choice for only $45) and use an RCA-to-3.5mm cable to connect it to the Bose’s AUX input. Select AUX on the radio and it will play the signal coming from the player. You can play CDs this way with any device with an AUX input. I’ve done it myself with Soundcore Flare speakers when I wanted to listen to CDs in rooms without a stereo system.
I have recommended a DVD player because the only CD players available these days are expensive high-end units, which would not provide any benefit with a small radio like the Bose. A DVD player will also play CDs, and most newer ones (like the Panasonic) play media from a USB port, as well. I have used the USB port on my 4K Blu-ray player with a card reader to look at photographs and watch videos directly from my camera memory cards. It’s a very handy feature with a lot of capabilities that are sadly not used by the majority of owners. If your player has a USB port try it out, you will be glad you did!
DecorTech Rectangular End Table with Built-In Bluetooth Speaker and USB Charging Port: I encountered this product in the waiting room of an office and asked the receptionist about it. She said it cost about $50 at Walmart and they had been very happy with it. It struck me as a space saver that would be well received by those who want to play audio without a visible (or removable) speaker in the room.
The table itself has a simple look I found attractive. The power connection is in the back and once plugged in you have a handy USB charging port and a speaker to pair with your phone, tablet or computer. The sound quality does not rate as hi-fi, but I have heard worse and it is more than adequate for background noise or listening to the news from the SiriusXM radio app. At only $54.98 it is a handy combo that seems perfect for the environment in which I first found it, an office waiting room. The waiting room now has background music without installing speakers in the ceiling or walls, and it is much less likely to be lost to theft than a portable speaker. See the DecorTech table with speaker at walmart.com.
Bose Radio CD Player Review, Pros, Cons
This is a Bose radio CD player combo. This first version of this Bose Wave music system, acts like a more traditional high fidelity stereo component system. Very similar in terms of performance, build, feature set, and price.
Its performance, for its size, might shock even the most seasoned audiophile. The small speakers make lots of firm but not muddy bass.
Bose did a great job at packaging this pretty decent stereo system into an all-in-one radio and CD player package. This Bose radio CD player sounds as good as the better boom boxes. Yet it takes much less space than those.
True. This all-in-one stereo radio CD player does not rattle teeth and vibrate your chest (much). But to the ears, it sounds like a discrete system with much bigger speakers.
This first model they built in a thick plastic case. And unlike separate hi-fi components, this radio has no buttons on the unit proper to wear out. It has the following key features:
- An integrated audio amplifier.
- Stereo FM and AM tuner.
- A CD player.
- A clock that you can set to wake you to your favorite radio station or CD.
- The much-smaller-than-they-sound speakers, via the folded wave guide technology inside.
This Bose radio CD player is a glorified clock radio, a CD boom box, and sensitive radio tuner, assembled into a single package. You can control all of these by the included remote. We played with one of these during a vacation trip, and were so intrigued. In fact, we spent several days listening, poking, tapping, and just messing around with this cool system.
Front view of the Bose radio CD player, first generation.
Bose Radio CD Player Features, Benefits, Pros
Plays Multiple Music Sources
Available built-in music sources include…
- A front loading, single-disc-at-a-time CD player.
- An AM and FM tuner radio.
This music system also has one Stereo 3.5 millimeter auxiliary line level input. This supports playing from an iPod, Zune, Echo Dot, or most any other line level audio program source.
Remembers Settings Through Power Failures
Remembers programmed settings and alarm times for up to 48 hours during loss of power. Such outages might occur in severe weather.
Small, Full Featured Remote Control
This remote works well, even across large rooms. Functions in this remote include…
- Power ON OFF.
- Input selection.
- AM FM band choosing.
- Radio station tuning.
- Volume UP DOWN.
- Selection and setting of radio station presets.
- Clock and alarm setting.
- Wake up station choice.
CD Player functions include…
- Seek and track advance.
- Play / Pause.
This Bose Radio CD Player Features Quiet Operation
Virtually silent clock when the rest of the system is off. WE heard no hum from either the speakers or any transformers inside, even when just inches away. Put this sound system as close to your bed as you like, and yet it won’t keep you awake.
AM / PM or Military Time Display Modes
Selectable 12 or 24 hour time-of-day display modes.
Some Data CDs Supported
Plays standard as well as MP3 CDs.
Tip Ring Sleeve (TRS) AUX Output
There’s also a 3.5mm audio output jack that accepts today’s stereo headphones and earbuds. Or, you can feed the signals here to larger amplifiers and speakers, for an even bigger sound.
This Bose tabletop stereo system has lots of rich and fairly full high fidelity sound, given its notably small table radio like size.
Powerful On-Board Amp in the Bose Radio CD Player
The integrated amplifier well drives the speakers to room filling volumes. This thing plays quite loudly. It’s loud enough to completely engulf a ten foot by thirty foot room. Punchy enough in fact, for small dance parties.
Needs Almost No Set Up to Play
Setup is simple, Simple, SIMPLE, and is not needed if you just want to tear open the box, plug in this stereo, and start jamming right away. But when you’re ready to set the current time on the built in clock, set up wake alarms, or create radio presets, you do so via the easy-to-work remote.
Twelve Radio Station Memories
Six AM and six FM radio presets. These allow you to tune to a so-assigned station without searching for it, with a single button press. Works like the presets in a car radio.
75 Ohm Antenna Input Port
75 ohm coaxial antenna connection. But without an external antenna, the radio uses the power cord as an FM aerial.
Bose Link Support
Features a Bose Link port that allows this radio to work as part of a multi component sound system.
Detachable AC Cord
Removable, and as such, replaceable power cord.
Automatic dimming and brightening of the big, easy-to-read electronic display.
Multiple Case Colors
Available in white and dark gray case colors.
Generous Return Policy
If you buy one new, and decide that you do not like it within thirty days, you can return it for a full refund.
Rear View of the First Version of the Bose radio CD player.
Bose Radio CD Player Cons, Disadvantages, Limitations, and Problems
This unit is $249 per copy on Amazon Marketplace as of this writing (the cheapest we found). Plus, due to the lack of built-in controls and adjustments, we believe this all-in-one system is overpriced. Would feel more eager about paying $149 for it. But then again, $249 is likely not a terribly high price, as many have paid close to $500 for this Bose product.
You Need the Remote to Access All Features
The sound system itself has no controls on its console. Instead, you must use the included remote to access these functions. So, do not lose the remote!
The Bose Radio CD Player Remote is Easy to Lose
The remote is about the same size as a debit card. It is almost as thin as well. So, it can easily slide between couch cushions or behind mattresses. Easy to lose due to its thin form factor thus.
No Sound Equalizer
No bass, mid range, or treble controls either on the unit or remote. The only way we found to lower the bass, is to turn on the Talk Radio play mode. This reduces the low frequency output a lot. But it seems to not affect the tweeter range frequencies.
No iPod / iPhone Dock
You cannot connect iPods without buying an iPod dock to 3.5mm TRS plug. iPod charging thus, is not supported.
Limited Audio Input Options
There’s only one AUX input. But with today’s plethora of audio-producing devices, at least three AUX inputs would be nice.
Small Stereo Sound Stage on this Bose Radio CD Player
Due to the close spacing of the left and right speakers, the stereo separation and imaging works only so well. Move just a few feet away. and you lose all perceptions of stereo sound. The stereo sound melts down into mono at less than ten feet away.
No Magnetic (Phono) Level Inputs
Can’t play a turntable through this unit without providing external amplification, that would boost the very low-level cartridge output signals up to AUX line level.
This Bose Radio CD Player is No Longer Made
No longer marketed by Bose, as of 2012.
Remote Control of the Bose Wave Music System, Original Version
Our Rating for this Bose Radio CD Player
This Bose radio CD player is revered for its great sound quality. On the whole, we agree. With its pushy bass, projecting mid range, and non harsh treble, the unit indeed qualifies as the highest performance clock radio we’ve tested so far. It’s a pretty good integrated stereo system for an all-in-one unit. Our worst gripe about it, is the high price. All things taken into account though, we’d love owning this piece of small but serious audio equipment. Our product rating thus, is 93 out of 100.
Underside Label on the Bose Wave Music System, First Version
Related Posts to Bose Radio CD Player Review
- Bose QuietComfort 35 QC35 Wireless Headphones Review
- Emerson Smart Set Clock Radio CKS1708 Review
- Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones Review
- Radio Shack Weather Radio 12-522 Review, Emergency, All Hazards Radio
- Bose Wave Radio 1 (AWR131) Review
References for this Bose Radio CD Player Review
- Bose Wave Music System on Wikipedia
- Owners Guide
- Where to Buy the Bose Wave Music System, First Version
- 2019-04-22: Added key word targeting, more subheadings, and more tags. Shortened post URL as well, and fixed broken media links. Shortened sentences.
- 2017-01-15: Originally published.
Bose Radio Player White Color reviews and specs…
Great Radio/CD Player
Todd R. Raynie 9 0012
This Bose Radio/CD Player arrived as promised by the seller. I am very glad. I’ve been playing non-stop for 2 weeks now. It has been refurbished but plays CDs like new and I love the quality of the radio. I’ve never liked using remote controls, so the buttons on top are perfect for me. It fits well in my small sunroom and looks great on small furniture as you can see in the photo. I would like Bose to release a new model if this one…
Lots of accessories
576Z”> Posted October 01, 2022
These old first generation Bose Waves are the best!
Daniel P. Pyfer
I have six radio/CD B ose wave. My original is one of the first generation clamshell CD players. Must be 20 years old. I played it a lot and still love it. I bought three subsequent models and never liked them. I don’t like being at the forefront. And all new ones tend to jam with CDs stuck in them. I’m pretty good at removing jammed CDs. One of them stopped playing CDs altogether. BUT, these old units are GREAT. Centerfold cover…
Excellent customer service for a beautiful refurbished product
Ryan H. Hadden
France , Paris
We’ve had a Bose radio for a long time, but no CD player. I have a huge collection and I wanted to hear it. I didn’t need all the bells and whistles of the latest Bose options, so I figured this should do the trick. When it arrived, I couldn’t even connect to our (weak) NPR station, the remote looked damaged, and some features didn’t work. I named her cast. Service # and got a lot of help. I have already completed some of the suggested maneuvers, so I…
9 0105 Published October 01, 2022
so good with this “like new” refurbished buying Bose.
Jamie K. Kamoso
So far so good with this purchase of a “like new” refurbished CD player -disc/radio Bose. The sound is just great for my apartment, plays loud and quiet, the sound is “clean” with quality bass. The seller seems to have been very honest about the condition of the Bose Wave radio/CD player in terms of “like new” status. I’ve only been using it for a few days, but so far I’m very happy with my purchase. Great sound for rock and roll and smooth classical music. I was wary of buying something that was indicated…
Great design and sound
Fock D. Dean
I love this device. The treble isn’t as crisp as I’d like (I’m more of a perfectionist than the average person), but overall the sound is great and, being vintage, I like the convenience of the flip cover for playing CDs. It’s about the size of a large shoe box. I bought the cream color and it looks great on the kitchen table. Because it has knobs on the top of the device (wish they were on newer devices), I don’t have to fiddle with the remote…0007
There are cons
9 0175 Published October 01, 2022
Great Radio – Home Audio
Mike P Phillips
I bought this radio for my elderly mother after she had problems using another Bose radio she had for about 4-5 years. The only way she could do anything with her old radio was with the remote control, and she found it too complicated and confusing to use – the remote was too small, the buttons were hard to see, and it was hard to figure out which individual I do goods. She eventually stopped using the radio. This…
I love this top loader! 😻🎶👵🎶😻
Bam R. Reeder
46 Karma 9000 7
Received a white top-loading Bosa yesterday. I can’t comment on the durability of the hardware, but I have 2 more Bose CDs/radios and these are well made compact music kits. Arrived on time, well packaged. It was a brand new clean sound with great tone. The remote came with a battery and worked great. It’s generic, but does whatever it takes. Control buttons at the top are an added convenience. A copy of the instruction manual has been attached. I don’t need…
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